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St. Albert Public Schools

Kindergarten Fair Do you have a child who will be starting Kindergarten in the fall? Please join us for the St. Albert Public Schools Kindergarten Fair, where you can find out more about our programs, full and half-day Kindergarten, yellow busing, school boundaries, speech and occupational therapy, and much more! Free admission and free parking!

Bellerose Composite High School 9:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Introduction to St. Albert Public Schools 10:00 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. The following sessions will run concurrently every 40 minutes:                

  

     

        

  

    



49 Giroux Road

Sat., Jan. 11, 2014 9:30 a.m. to noon Who should attend? Families of children entering Kindergarten in the fall of 2014

*Children must be five years old before the end of February 2015 to enrol in Kindergarten for 2014-2015.

Kindergarten registration is already underway! Don’t miss this chance to find out more about the opportunities available to your child and to have your questions about Kindergarten answered.

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780.460.3712  www.spschools.org AD{CS5080075}


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:FM<I The members of local band KickupaFuss â&#x20AC;&#x201D; three of which originally hail from St. Albert â&#x20AC;&#x201D; are hoping to kick up a few more fans during their tenure as Band of the Month on Sonic 102.9 for January, which also includes a showcase concert on Friday, Jan. 31, at the Pawn Shop on Whyte Avenue. See story on page 18.

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Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s how many returning gold medallists from 2010 were on the Canadian menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Olympic hockey team when the 25man roster was announced on Tuesday morning. The squad will go for gold in Sochi, Russia, at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games from Feb. 7 to 23.

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A St. Albert elementary school student is hoping to draw up some success in an international poster contest. Eric Montpetit is a Grade 6 student at Neil M. Ross Catholic School, and his artwork is currently being judged against other Grade 6, 7 and 8 students from all over the world as part of the Lions International Peace Poster Contest, which could result in a first-place prize of $5,000 and a trip to the United Nations in New York City. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m really excited ... to go worldwide and compete against everybody else in the world,â&#x20AC;? Eric said. There are also 23 merit awards up for grabs in the contest, worth $500 each. Eric has already taken home $100 for winning the district level prize, and $300 at the multiple district level, which put his poster up against others from

Photo: GLENN COOK, St. Albert Leader

<i`ZDfekg\k`k^\kjZiXZb`e^fe_`je\okdXjk\ig`\Z\Xkk_\]Xd`cpĂ&#x2039;jb`kZ_\ekXYc\`eJk%8cY\ik% across Alberta and Montana. This is the farthest a student from Neil M. Ross has ever progressed in the competition, he added. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It pretty much broke a record

in my school,â&#x20AC;? he said. Meanwhile, Ericâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mother Kelly is equally proud, especially considering that she is an art teacher at Vincent J. Maloney Junior High School. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m very proud because he beat Grade 7 and 8 students. A student at my school in Grade 7 came in second,â&#x20AC;? Kelly said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When he won at his school, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what he wanted to do. But then it became, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I want to beat Momâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s school.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Eric said he has learned a lot from his mom over the years, but Kelly said art is something he has always been drawn to. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Both of my kids are very talented. They come by it naturally,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;[Eric] has always been one of the better artists. And theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re exposed to lots; theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve come to my school, and heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s done soapstone

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sculptures with me for years.â&#x20AC;? Ericâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s poster depicts a childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hand holding a cellphone with doves in the background. The cellphone has a map of the world on its screen, with each country represented by its flag and a peace sign behind them. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The theme was â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Our World, Our Future,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; so I thought future [could mean] technology,â&#x20AC;? Eric said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I drew the phone holding the world and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in a kidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hand, so the world is in kidsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; hands.â&#x20AC;? While Eric is hopeful about his chances of winning the big prize and travelling to New York, with students from over 100 countries participating in the Peace Poster contest, he is keeping his expectations in check. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Hope for the best, expect the worst,â&#x20AC;? he said. International winners should be notified on or before Feb. 1.

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Photo courtesy St. Albert RCMP

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It’s a happy ending for the family of a 14-year-old boy who was reported missing on New Year’s Day. Dylan Andres was reported missing from his home in the Forest Lawn subdivision of St. Albert on Wednesday, Jan. 1, having last been seen by his family on Monday, Dec. 30, at around 6 p.m. But St. Albert RCMP confirmed Wednesday morning that Andres was located in north Edmonton late Tuesday afternoon and was returned to his family in St. Albert. “He was located. He’s safe and he’s back with his parents,” said Const. M.J. Burroughs of the

St. Albert RCMP detachment. Police believed that Andres may have been staying with friends in Edmonton, but he had not been in contact with his mother. RCMP also said that Andres likely didn’t have a cellphone on him when he went missing, but he may have been contacting friends through social media. “We have to confirm with him and with his mom that he’s 100 per cent OK, even if we think he might be with friends,” said Cpl. Laurel Kading of the St. Albert RCMP on Monday. Rumours that Andres was found starting circulating on Facebook and Twitter on Tuesday evening, but RCMP did not confirm those reports via a press release until Wednesday.

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While festivities are being planned for Family Day in St. Albert next month, the Spirit of St. Albert (SOSA) Society wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be part of it. After helping organize the Family Day Frostival for the past couple of years, SOSA is bowing out this year, leaving the organization of the event up to the City of St. Albert while it focuses on other events through the rest of the year. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We just donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have the manpower this year. ... We just donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have enough volunteers to put these events on, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s our problem,â&#x20AC;? said SOSA chair Heather Johnson. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re such a small committee that we were kind of running ourselves into the ground.â&#x20AC;? SOSA is also bowing out of the Canada Day celebrations in July, also leaving those in the Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hands. There was a $10,000 business case for Family Day festivities in the 2014 budget recently approved by city council, which went forward regardless of who organized the event.

Fi r e

In years past, the Frostival has featured ice skating, shinny hockey, crafts and food. However, last year, the bulk of the activities were moved from Lacombe Lake Park to Lions Park after the ice at Lacombe Lake was vandalized and deemed unsafe for skating.

Ă&#x2C6;N\ZXeĂ&#x2039;k[fjf dXep\m\ekjXe[ jk`cc[fX^ff[afY%Ă&#x2030; ?\Xk_\iAf_ejfe Jg`i`kf]Jk%8cY\ikZ_X`i SOSA has decided to focus its efforts this year on the annual Fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day Soapbox Derby, which is run in conjunction with Rockâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;n August, and the annual River Valley Picnic, which is usually held the last weekend in August. They also plan to be part of the Rainmaker Exhibition and Rodeo parade in May. The society started after St. Albertâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 150th anniversary celebrations in 2011, using legacy funding from the celebrations to

carry forward some of the events introduced that year into the future. Johnson said that, after chair Cheryl MacKenzie left, the society thought about packing it in after last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s River Valley Picnic, but theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve heard so many good things about their events from people in attendance that they decided to soldier on. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had such positive feedback from the community about the picnic and the soapbox derby, so we want to continue,â&#x20AC;? she said, adding that she hopes the picnic will be easier to organize this year thanks to partnerships with local Scout troops. Such partnerships will be key to the societyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s viability in the future, as will fundraising and drumming up volunteer support. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do so many events and still do a good job,â&#x20AC;? Johnson said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to focus on the two events, and the picnic will be our big event for the year. ... We want to be able to put on free events for families, because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to have events where anybody can come and participate, whether they can pay for it or not, because thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what brings a community together.â&#x20AC;?

Leader file photo

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can do for them and the community at large.” Jk%8cY\ikC\X[\i Over that period, the number of local After a couple of years getting started, a families applying for assistance has jumped local charity is celebrating a major goal this from 50 to around 90. weekend. The local chapter has benefited from a On Saturday, the number of fundraisers St. Albert chapter of since its inception, KidSport will celebrate including two editions its official launch with a of the Get Kids Playing family fun swim at the charity slo-pitch Fountain Park Recreation tournament hosted by Centre, marking the start Edmonton Oilers draft of the charity’s ability to pick and St. Albert native help fund minor sports Tyler Bunz, as well as registrations for kids at a donations from the local level. St. Albert Rotary Club, “It’s super exciting. It’s ATB Financial and been a long time coming,” Amazon Springs Water said St. Albert chapter and Coffee. chair Klayton Deputan. As it continues to grow, “We’re definitely excited though, Range said they to be able to fund kids in still need volunteers for St. Albert. That’s what we special events like selling were striving to do, and that’s what we’re 50-50 tickets at Edmonton Oilers games. going to do from here on in.” “Although we have a core committee, a The local chapter has existed since 2012, board of directors, it’s having those extra but board members were waiting until they sets of hands when we’re doing events that had enough funds to sustain the chapter we really appreciate,” she said, adding that for a few years before they started offering there are several board members in their funding locally. In that early 20s, which has time, St. Albert families made it a “very vibrant needing help to pay for chapter.” minor sports have been As KidSport St. Albert able to apply to KidSport moves into the future, Alberta. though, Range isn’t “We’ll be able to looking at numbers to BXk_c\\eIXe^\ fund kids right out of measure success. B`[JgfikJk%8cY\ik the St. Albert chapter. “I just see a community They’ll be able to send that’s active and engaged us applications,” said local board member with all members of our city,” she said. Kathleen Range. For more information, visit www. “It means we’ll be more active in the kidsport.ab.ca and select “St. Albert” from community — more kids will know about the chapter list drop-down menu on the it, more families will know about what we homepage.

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Craig Pilgrim knows that a shave and fresh clothes leaves him feeling like a million bucks. Now he wants to share that feeling with seniors in the Capital Region. Over the holidays, Pilgrim, a Re/Max real estate agent in St. Albert, started up the Tighty Whities and Granny Panties donation drive on Facebook, hoping to drum up hygiene basics like underwear, socks, deodorant, razors and shaving cream for the Operation Friendship Seniors Society, which is based in Edmonton. “When you’ve come down with the flu for

three or four days, and you lay around on the sofa watching TV, you kind of feel gross. But if you get up and have a quick shave and brush your teeth, you feel like a million bucks, even it’s only for a couple of hours,” Pilgrim said. “That’s the whole concept right there.” Pilgrim said he was inspired to start collecting donations by two pieces of mail he received just before Christmas — one from OFSS, and one from the Mustard Seed in Edmonton. “It just drove home and reminded me of some of the stuff they go through,” he said, “particularly with the seniors at Operation Friendship Seniors Society. I’ve dealt with them before, volunteered with them before.” OFSS is a non-profit society that provides preventative social services and works to

improve the quality of life for residents of Edmonton and area who are over 55 years of age. “Often people are very familiar with the homeless problem, but they don’t really think of seniors being homeless,” Pilgrim said. “Really, the genesis of it was this concept of bringing awareness to the fact there are homeless seniors out there, and from there, it really evolved.” Pilgrim launched the drive on New Year’s Day, and while he’s not surprised donations have been slow, he’s excited to get some momentum started, with almost 40 likes on Facebook so far. “We’ve just started and we’ve got time,” he said. “The goal, I think I mentioned on the Facebook page, is to set up 50 seniors with the hygiene basics, the five items. But

the super, over-the-top success would be to get 100 [packages] 50 men and 50 women.” Pilgrim has already used his business connections to secure a donation of 100 tubes of toothpaste, toothbrushes and dental kits for the drive. Shopping lists are available on the drive’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ tightywhities. Drop-off bins for the drive have been set up at Re/Max offices in St. Albert (12 Hebert Rd.) and in west Edmonton (14717 40 Ave.), and Pilgrim is working on finding other drop-off locations in other parts of Edmonton and the surrounding area. For more on the Operation Friendship Seniors Society, visit www. ofss.org.

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It isn’t a new thing for Edmonton’s first responders to give from the heart when asked. A program that kicked off Tuesday simply gave them a more literal way to do so. For the 12th year, Sirens for Life has called on the city’s police, fire and EMS crews to roll up a sleeve and give blood. Setting an example for his staff was Edmonton Fire Chief Ken Block. “Fire rescue responds to life-threatening events on a daily basis and throughout your career you see a lot of people that are in dire need of blood transfusions and blood products,” said Block, who gives

every year and encourages everyone else Lori Bosko, community development who is eligible to do the same. co-ordinator for Canadian Blood Services, St. Albert RCMP Insp. Kevin Murray said donors tend to come out and give said the incident in Vegreville Monday that around the holidays but January can be put a Mountie in hospital a slower time for blood with serious injuries only banks. served to remind of the “The truth is that every need for donations. minute of every single “There’s been a number day somebody in Canada of high-profile incidents needs blood so we’re over the years, and it just hoping that this will spur @ejg%B\m`eDliiXp brings it that much closer people on that are eligible Jk%8cY\ikI:DG to home for us, that there to donate to come down is a constant need and to the centre or to come we need to get out there and donate to down to one of our mobiles and to donate,” help save lives,” said Murray, who donates said Bosko. regularly himself and hopes the public will In past years, services in Edmonton and follow the lead of those in uniform. Calgary have indulged in some friendly

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competition to see who could give more. This year, that competition has been scrapped in the interest of including smaller areas outside of the two major cities to meet the province’s blood needs. Bosko said roughly 12,000 units will be needed across the province in January alone with a demand for 4,600 units coming from Edmonton hospitals. The blood is often used for people involved in serious accidents but can also go to patients undergoing cancer treatment or other serious procedures. Since it began in Alberta, the Sirens for Life program has spread across the country. Eligible donors are encouraged to make an appointment to give blood by going online to www.blood.ca.


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odayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s society places a lot of emphasis on sports â&#x20AC;&#x201D; one needs look no further than the seven or eight 24-hour sports channels on the dial or the debate over who should be included on Canadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Olympic hockey team or the amount of money spent on tickets and merchandise bearing Yp>c\ee:ffb our favourite teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s logo to see that. But, at the end of the day, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to remember that these grown men are still QMBZJOHDIJMESFOTHBNFTÄ&#x2021;BUTXIZBO organization like KidSport is so important, to give kids a chance to play those games while they still belong to them. Ä&#x2021;F4U"MCFSUDIBQUFSPG,JE4QPSUXJMMCF celebrating its official launch this weekend, marking their transition from merely fundraising to actually being able to take applications and dole out funding to families who need a little help paying minor sports registration fees. In theory, a kid could have a pair of shoes, a ball and a goal, and still get the same physical benefits playing alone as he or she would on an organized team. But team sports are about so much more than just the physical benefits â&#x20AC;&#x201D; they build character, camaraderie, self-esteem and respect in a way nothing else can really replicate. "OEFWFSZLJE OPNBUUFSXIBUUIFJSGBNJMZ situation or socio-economic background is, deserves the chance to build those attributes. One might think that, especially here in 4U"MCFSU JUPVHIUOPUUPCFIBSEUPDPNFVQ with registration money. But when you factor in equipment â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and massive amounts of it in sports like hockey â&#x20AC;&#x201D; facility rentals and all sorts of other costs for multiple children in a family, those fees can quickly extend far CFZPOESFBDI"OEUIFZXFSFCFZPOESFBDIGPS 90 families in our city this year, according to KidSport figures. 4PLVEPTUPUIF4U"MCFSUDIBQUFSPG KidSport for doing what they can to help reel UIPTFDPTUTJO/PUBMMPGUIFLJETUIFZIFMQPVU will likely have their highlights played on one of those 24-hour sports networks, but the skills they gain through organized sports will serve them greatly as they start their careers and eventually become tomorrowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leaders.

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he Senate Expense/ PMO Meddling Scandal will continue to dominate federal headlines. Criminal charges will be filed against the principals involved in a scheme to pay $90,000 to a sitting legislator in exchange for participation in sanitizing an expense audit. tÄ&#x2021;F4VQSFNF$PVSUXJMM issue its judgement on the constitutionality of Senate reform. Senate reformers will be disappointed as the court will prescribe the consent of all provinces is required to abolish the Senate and at least seven provinces representing 50 per cent of Canadians is required to hold anything more than nonbinding consultative elections. tÄ&#x2021;FHPWFSONFOUXJMM continue to refer to the aforesaid as the Senate Scandal, while the media and

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An age-old tradition continued last week as hundreds of Edmontonians gathered at the Government House for the Lieutenant Governor’s New Year’s Day Levee. People lined the stairs three floors up to have the opportunity to meet and greet Lt.-Gov. Donald S. Ethell and Her Honour Linda Ethell. The annual New Year’s Levee is one of the largest events hosted by Lt.-Gov. Donald S. Ethell throughout the year. “We consider it a great honour to participate in this,” said Ethell. “We’ve had some very nice compliments coming from people in line and it’s good to see people here participating in a time-honoured tradition.” Last year was particularly important as it marked the centennial celebration of the

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Ck%$>fm%d\\kjXe[ ^i\\kj[li`e^c\m\\ Government House, which was built in 1913. “Last year was magnificent,” said Ethell. “This building is 100 years old and it’s very historic, and it’s wonderful to have ceremonies here — it’s been a grand year.” With all due respect to the adults, Ethell says the aspect of the levee he appreciates the most is interacting with the Edmonton’s youth. “I see kids in the Legislature building once a week and it’s wonderful to see some Grade 6s come in and ask some very good questions,” said Ethell. “We got a smart bunch of kids out there.” The first New Year’s Levee in Canada was held in 1646 by Charles de Montagny, Governor of New France, which was later named Quebec. Alberta’s first Lieutenant Govenor began hosting Levee’s after he took office in 1905 and up until the early 1960s only men could attend.

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Fllu u--rela reela late t d de d aths are on the ri r se s whille Al wh whil A lb bertans get immunize zed ze ed in record numbers. Health officials said Mo M nday the flu has been linked to o 10 1 deaths in the province this season on, which is double on the th he nu numb mb mb ber rep ep por or ted la l st weekk. Dr. James T Taa lbot, Alberta’s chief medical o offi fficer, said that number “is about wh what we had in the entire flu seasso on n last year.” Taa lbot said the province has seen T 300 confirmed hospitalizations linked to the flu this season, including 40 patien e ts in intensive care units. Viirt r uallyy al a l off t hee iinfl nflue nfl fluenz uenz ue nza se nza seen eeen n in A lberta this Alb Al h year has been the H1N1 strain, he said, which is a component o off the vaccine currently being offered. Those reported dead have been between the ages of 18 and 64. “That skews a little bit younger than the normal flu that we’ve seen that isn’t H1N1,” Talbot said. At the same time, more Albertans have been immunized this season than all of last flu season — Talbot

said the number of immunized “will be a historic high when the season is finished.” Abou ou out ut 233 p per er cen er e to off t hee pop opul pul u lat atio ion on was immunizeed last year. Pharmaciess and doctors’ offices have been ru unning out of the vaccine, but Talbot says this is indicative of a distribution o probl b em,, no ot a sh sho shor orr taaggee. e. He saiid Alberta Health Services is re-assse s ssing its 1,500 distribution n pointss and will likely focus more on masss clinics for its next delivery ry.. Th province ordered 1.1 millio The ion n do ose s s of the flu vaccine in Febru uar ary. y. “ e got the last vaccine on the “W p anet. The shipment that comes pl in tomorrow was vaccine that was t ho thou th ou ugh ght to ght to be su surp urp rplu lussed ssssed d to th t he ne the need eds ds in Italy, and the ministry was very aggressive at making sure we secured it for Alberta,” Talbot said. He said the virus has struck Calgary harder than Edmonton so far, but it tends to enter the province from the south. Talbot expects the flu to peak in late January or early February. Immunization clinics opened Oct. 21 and remain open on varying schedules.

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Canada’s Prairie Provinces might just be the luckiest places to be, if the closing days of 2013 are any indication. Eleven days — 11 new millionaires. The Western Canada Lottery Corp. pointed out Friday just how frequently good fortune smiled on lotto ticket buyers in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. It’s more than $74 million heading to Prairie players and a sizeable portion of those winnings are owed to tickets purchased here in Alberta. According to the WCLC, December’s late onslaught of luck hit Dec. 20, with a $50 million ticket and a $1 million ticket popping up in Edmonton, as

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Hazardous conditions on Highway 2 didn’t stop one driver from watching Tosh.0 on his laptop while he navigated the icy road. Airdrie RCMP pulled over an Edmonton man who was watching an episode of the comedy show while driving southbound on Highway 2 near Carstairs Saturday night. Witnesses reported a red Volkswagen Golf driving in an irregular pattern and having trouble staying in its lane. As witnesses passed the car, they noticed a laptop on the dash. Members of the Airdrie Integrated Traffic Unit were called around 8:30 p.m. and acting Sheriff Sgt. Jason Graw said officers had no trouble finding the vehicle by the white glow emanating from its windows. “This is the third time in recent memory that our officers have caught drivers watching video while behind the wheel, and in this particular case in the middle of a snowstorm,” Graw said in a statement. The 28-year-old driver was ticketed for distracted driving and failing to produce a valid insurance card.


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JLED<;@8E<NJJ<IM@:<JÆPope Francis made an impassioned New Year’s peace address on Wednesday, Jan. 1, saying the heart of humanity seemed to have gone astray and too many people were still indifferent to war, violence and injustice. The pontiff, who took his papal name from St. Francis of Assisi, the saint most associated with peace, urged the world to listen to the “cry for peace” from suffering peoples. “What on earth is happening in the hearts of men? What on earth is happening in the heart of humanity?” he said to tens of thousands of people in St Peter’s Square on the day the Roman Catholic Church celebrates its World Day of Peace. “It’s time to stop!” he said, departing from his prepared text. Francis was speaking from the window of the Apostolic Palace overlooking St. Peter’s Square that popes traditionally use for their addresses. Unlike his predecessors, Francis has not used the spacious apartment behind the window

since his election in March, shunning pomp and preferring instead to live in small quarters in a Vatican guest house. “Everyone must be committed to building a society that is truly just and caring,” he told the crowd on Wednesday, acknowledging the many peace banners and blue balloons held aloft. In a message for the World Day of Peace sent to world leaders last month, Francis said that huge salaries and bonuses were symptoms of an economy based on greed and inequality. In that letter, the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina again urged nations to narrow the gap between rich and poor, more and more of whom were getting only “crumbs.” Francis, named Person of the Year by Time magazine and a number of other publications, has urged his own church to set an example by being more fair and frugal and less pompous, and to get closer to the poor and afflicted. The new year is expected to bring concrete changes to the Vatican, plagued by a series of

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mishaps and scandals under Pope Benedict XVI, who in February became the first pontiff to resign in 600 years. Francis has appointed a committee of eight cardinals from around the world to advise him on how to reform the central Vatican administration. He has also named commissions to advise him on what to do with the scandalplagued Vatican bank, on transparency in other parts of Vatican finance and on how to deal with the church’s many sexual abuse scandals. Vatican officials expect changes to start taking shape in late February, when his council of advisors has a pivotal meeting in the Vatican. On Feb. 22, Francis will name his first batch of cardinals to join the exclusive group that will one day choose his successor. The names of the new cardinals are expected to be disclosed sometime in late January, and will offer another indication of the type of humbler Church that Francis wants.

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playing together in a band called Apache Rose, but after some members moved away, they A band with strong ties to restructured and brought in St. Albert is looking to kick up a Jansen, who Fraser had played ton of fan support this month. with in high school, and Thorsen KickupaFuss — in which three in late 2011 and played their first of four members hail from show together in spring 2012. St. Albert originally — has been When they hit the stage for the named Band of the Month for Band of the Month showcase at January by radio station Sonic the end of the month, though, 102.9, meaning their song “I Don’t they know it’s another huge Need Your Sex” is in regular opportunity. rotation on their airwaves and “Your show is promoted on the they’ll headline the station’s radio multiple times a day. That’s monthly advertising that showcase we could never concert on afford in our Friday, Jan. 31, wildest dreams. at the Pawn That’s huge,” Shop on Whyte Fraser said. Avenue. “We hope to <cc`fk=iXj\i “It’s a grab a few fans B`ZblgX=ljj different crowd from the radio, than we run a few from the in and it’s a different set of ears Facebook traffic that otherwise for our music,” said bassist Elliot wouldn’t come see us. It’s another Fraser, who graduated from chance to get out there and show Bellerose Composite High School. another group of people what you “It’s a new audience for us. ... For can do up there.” bands like us, any opportunity you KickupaFuss are no strangers get to do something like this, you to local radio, though. They won a take it.” battle of the bands competition on Guitarist Brandon Jansen The Bear 100.3 FM, earning some also attended Bellerose, while airplay on that station as well. drummer Daryl Payne graduated Still, hearing their song from Paul Kane High School. alongside some of their musical Singer Jesse Thorsen is the only heroes is always a thrill. band member not connected to “The first time I heard my song St. Albert. on the radio ever, ‘Give It Away’ Fraser and Payne had been by the Red Hot Chili Peppers

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To everyone who took the time to play the Leader HoHo Contest

Photo Supplied

K_\YXe[B`ZblgX=ljjÇn_`Z__Xjk_i\\f]`kj]flid\dY\ij_X`c`e^]ifdJk%8cY\ikÇ`jk_\9Xe[f]k_\Dfek_]fi AXelXipfeJfe`Z(')%0=D#Xe[n`cc_\X[c`e\k_\`ij_fnZXj\ZfeZ\ikfe=i`[Xp#AXe%*(% played [right before] — that’s my favourite band. I have a tattoo on my back for them,” Fraser said. “I was driving with my girlfriend at the time, and we both looked at each other, and then we cranked it up. It’s an awesome feeling.” KickupaFuss have also had the privilege of playing at the Boonstock festival the past two years when it was held just outside Gibbons. “The first time we played it, it kind of went by and we didn’t realize it,” adding that they hope to follow Boonstock to its new home in Penticton, B.C. “The second time, we were able to take it in a little bit. We weren’t so stressed out about making sure everything goes right.” Fraser described the band’s

songwriting process as a very collaborative one, but they also try to keep things loose and fun. “We’re good time boys,” Fraser laughed. “We enjoy each other’s company. Every Friday night is our standard jam; depending on what comes up, we’ll jam one to four times a week.” Of course, all four members have day jobs, so it can sometimes be tough to balance work to pay the bills and a musical career that’s on the rise. “It’s a big commitment, and it takes a lot of work beyond the songwriting — booking the shows, putting the merch together, putting the CDs together,” said Fraser, who also acts as the band’s manager. “We’re all learning, so it probably takes us twice as

THANK YOU! To Jacks Burger Shack for the gift cards for the best burgers in St. Albert

Bingo! #leaderhoho Wait a minute! Looks like the jolly old elf already swung by! #wasmilkandcookies

long to do everything. But all our respective workplaces are very supportive. You’ve got to have a life outside work, and in this day and age, people realize that’s important.” KickupaFuss released a threesong EP in 2012, and they are looking to release an acoustic EP very soon. “We’re going in a bit of a different direction with our songwriting. I just bought a bass synth, and we’re doing a lot more keyboards and vocal processors,” Fraser said. “We’ve taken a different direction in writing, and ‘I Don’t Need Your Sex’ is the first one on that tangent. So we’re just excited to start writing.” For more about KickupaFuss, visit www.kickupafuss.ca.

Here are just a few of our favorite submissions

#LeaderHoHo my family making a gingerbread house - @mappy0808

Bingo! #leaderhoho When I lined up the shot, it was a gorgeous bird. The vultures were quick. - @Mac_Daddy

- @craigpilgrim

New Year’s Eve blower and hat! #leaderhoho - @Dorinkitza

Me and the bad Bengal love the holiday fireplace! #LeaderHoHo - @MarnieStrech

@JacksBS #leaderhoho last day of advent calendar, exciting! figure I consumed 4000 calories of beer - @russellabird


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Students in Paul Kane High Schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s musical theatre program know theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got a tough challenge ahead of them, but theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re ready to rise up to it. The schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s production of Fiddler on the Roof opened at the Arden Theatre on Wednesday and continues to Friday, and while the subject material can be dark and a challenge to translate to the stage, everyone involved feels the hard work theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve put in since September will pay off. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Everyoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really excited. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot of work and a lot of commotion, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s feeling really, really good,â&#x20AC;? said Grade 12 student and assistant director Loreena Jans as the cast and crew ran through a rehearsal on Tuesday afternoon. Fiddler on the Roof centres on a milkman named Teyve, who, with his wife Golde, struggles to raise his five daughters in Tsarist Russia in 1905 while maintaining their Jewish religious traditions in the face of outside influences. Grade 11 student Frankie Mulder plays Golde, and she said the acting challenge the play posed prompted her to audition.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I knew, no matter what part I got, it would be challenging. And the part I got, playing a 45-year-old when Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m only 17, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a challenge, but definitely one I was looking forward to,â&#x20AC;? Mulder said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When I heard we were doing Fiddler on the Roof, I hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t had too much experience with the play myself,â&#x20AC;? added Grade 11 student Max Aisenstat, who plays Motel, a shy tailor. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s actually a favourite of my family, but I hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t seen it before. But I watched it, and it was a really good play. I was really excited.â&#x20AC;? It was precisely those challenges, though, that prompted director Lisa Whitson and her crew to tackle the play. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s such a classic. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s such a big thing to take on, such a serious story, so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really interesting to get the deeper acting out of the students,â&#x20AC;? Jans said. Students have been rehearsing at least four days a week, upping that to five as they got closer to the curtain rising. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been crazy intense,â&#x20AC;? said Thomas Taylor, a Grade 12 student who plays Parchik, a student revolutionary. All three of Aisenstat, Mulder and Taylor are hoping to continue on with theatre beyond high school, and they believe

Photo: GLENN COOK, St. Albert Leader

C$I GXlcBXe\dlj`ZXck_\Xki\jkl[\ekjDXo8`j\ejkXk#=iXeb`\Dlc[\iXe[K_fdXjKXpcfijXp k_XkjkX^`e^=`[[c\ifek_\Iff]_XjY\\eZ_Xcc\e^`e^#Ylkk_\`i_Xi[nfib`jgXp`e^f]]% having a play like Fiddler on the Roof on their resumĂŠs will be a big asset. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So many high schools end up doing shows that are really fun, but they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t necessarily challenge the students,â&#x20AC;? Mulder said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think this definitely does, and I think universities or colleges that are looking at what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve done in the past,

doing a fairly serious play like this that really is demanding on not just vocals or dancing or acting, but on all three, I think that looks really good.â&#x20AC;? Tickets for Paul Kaneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s production of Fiddler on the Roof are $15 each and are available by calling the school office at 780459-4405.

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NX_cY\i^jk`Zbjkfjkfip locations, with Afghanistan obviously impossible to visit and New Mexicoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sangre de Cristo Mountains standing in. Add in Historical fact or hyper-fiction? The differences in terrain and details of how the filmmakers involved with Lone Survivor, Americans engaged the Taliban. It can add including co-producer and co-star Mark up to a complicated shoot. Wahlberg, struggled mightily with that But Luttrell himself is happy with the issue. But they had one goal: To tell this depiction of the events that involved him savage story as truthfully as possible. and his fallen comrades. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was really proud â&#x20AC;&#x153;Obviously,â&#x20AC;? Wahlberg says of it because, even if it is different, in an interview, â&#x20AC;&#x153;the goal was to it was something equally as make it as realistic as possible dangerous.â&#x20AC;? and certainly in the spirit of Lone Survivor is a rarity. Most something.â&#x20AC;? That something is current American war movies the true saga of Operation Red are set in Iraq. An Afghan setting Wings, a failed special operations is unusual. The politics are mission conducted by the U.S. complicated. The war is messy Navy SEALs in June of 2005 in the and grim and complicated and rugged Hindu Kush Mountains unrewarding. DXib of Afghanistanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Kunar province. But this story should still be told, NX_cY\i^ The mission goal was to capture Wahlberg says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so 8Zkfi&gif[lZ\i or kill a senior Taliban terrorist. important. I think people take for The mission went terribly wrong, leading granted what these people do for us. And to 19 American deaths during a firefight. itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s such an amazing story, not just in paying Operation Red Wings serves as a searing tribute to Marcus but also paying tribute to insight into how some modern wars are the Afghan villagers who risked their lives to fought, on the ground with ferocious handsave, basically, a stranger.â&#x20AC;? to-hand combat and high casualty rates. Lone Survivor, Wahlberg adds, tries â&#x20AC;&#x153;to The â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;lone survivorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; of the Red Wings put a face on the Afghan people as opposed mission is now-retired SEAL team to the assumption that because weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re at member Marcus Luttrell, who co-wrote war in Afghanistan that we are at war with the biographical book that inspired writerAfghanistan. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not.â&#x20AC;? director Peter Bergâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s film. Part of Luttrellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Researching the Lone Survivor story, and ordeal took place in an Afghan Pashtun getting to befriend Luttrell also increased village where residents argued over the Wahlbergâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s respect for American soldiers, he Texanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fate. Wahlberg plays Luttrell, and says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Absolutely! At the highest level. This Luttrell served as one of the filmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s SEAL was never about politics. It was never really team consultants. Wahlberg says the goal in about war.â&#x20AC;? Instead, he says, the film is â&#x20AC;&#x153;a Lone Survivor was â&#x20AC;&#x153;capturing the essence of tribute to the soldiers and what they sacrifice it as close to the real thing as possible.â&#x20AC;? for us.â&#x20AC;? But there were problems doing that, Wahlberg says that playing Luttrell was Wahlberg admits. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you think about the a privilege. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inspiring me to try to be a fact that the gunfight alone was three hours better man, a better husband, a better father, and Marcus was in the village for five days, a better friend and a better brother. Being right there youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to have some issues.â&#x20AC;? around a special human being like that can Meanwhile, Luttrellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s book has more than either make you feel inadequate to the point 400 pages. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got a two-hour where you let your tail go between your legs movie and you have to condense.â&#x20AC;? or you say, â&#x20AC;&#x153;S---! I gotta be better!â&#x20AC;&#x2122; I chose to Add in the limited budget, which take that route because of his never-give-up maxed out at $50 million. Add in shooting and never-quit attitude.â&#x20AC;?

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We are really excited at the St. Albert and District Chamber of Commerce, about what is to come in 2014. Following another successful year in 2013 and much progress in working towards our goals for our members, our business community, and our larger community, we believe that this coming year will see more results that will bring a very positive impact! One of our beliefs is that we can accomplish more by partnering with others. This year we intend to work hard at cementing more relationships that will bring new and exciting opportunities for growth and development. Our three Strategic Focus Areas are: Vibrant Community, Regional Hub, and Role Model. In each area we have established programs and are exploring new ones to support our efforts. If you would like to volunteer your time and energy towards working                                 

Lynda Moffat, President & CEO

2014 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Lynda Moffat

Paul Quantz

Lynn Carolei

Barry Bailey

Ken Macrae

Paulette Godin-Donovan

Mark Stoneleigh

President & CEO, St. Albert and District Chamber of Commerce

Quantz Law Group - Chair

Sublime Swim & Sunwear - Past Chair

Bailey Event Management - 1st Vice Chair

Ken Macrae Chartered Accountant - 2nd Vice Chair

Scotiabank, Citadel Village - Secretary

ATB Financial - Treasurer

2014 BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Douglas Lamb

Margaret Mrazek

Craig Pilgrim

Brian Bachynski

Chris McLeod

Robert Zechel

Servus Credit Union

Lawyer

Craig Pilgrim RE/MAX Real Estate

St. Albert Gazette (Great West Newspapers LP)

Athabasca University

Cloud Nine Pajamas

Kendell Bousquet

Jillian Creech

Martha Livingstone

Jodie McFadzen

Julian Romanko

Mathew Potter

First Foundation Mortgages and Insurance

St. Albert Centre - Primaris Management Inc.

Visionary College

Penzen Limited

Investors Group

Swift Media Group

2013 was a very exciting and challenging year. Looking back I am amazed by not only how quickly it past but also how many wonderful people I was privileged to meet along the way. It was an honour to participate on behalf of businesses in our area in the provincial and federal sessions to affect change to government policies, laws and programs. I wish all the best to Paul Quantz as he steps into the position as Chair and Barry Bailey as 1st Vice Chair as well as the rest of the Executive and Board and look forward to providing support to them as the New Year rolls out. I would like to extend sincerest thanks and gratitude for the opportunity to serve the community and my best wishes to everyone for a very prosperous and Happy New Year.

Lynn Carolei â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Outgoing Chair

780.458.2833

www.stalbertchamber.com AD{CS5080136}


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=ifq\en`ej_fc`[XpYfof]Ă&#x201D;Z\ JLED<;@8E<NJJ<IM@:<JĂ&#x2020;Walt Disney Coâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s animated fairy tale Frozen took hold of first place on movie charts in the United States and Canada for the first weekend of 2014, knocking three-time champion The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug down to the No.3 spot. Second place went to new horror movie Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, a spinoff from the hit low-budget Paranormal Activity franchise. Frozen, which opened on the eve of the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend

in November, collected $20.7 million in ticket sales to claim the weekend box office crown, ahead of The Marked Ones which earned $18.2 million from Friday through Sunday, according to estimates from Rentrak. Kristen Bell provides the voice for the lead character in Frozen, the story of a Scandinavian princess on a search for her missing sister, the queen. The hit film is nearing a $300 million domestic total and has collected $640 million in global ticket sales, making it the highest-grossing Disney Animation

Artwork Supplied

release of all-time behind only The Lion King, Disney said. The Marked Ones introduces new characters and a different story to the hit Paranormal franchise produced by horror filmmaker Jason Blum. Rounding out the charts, director Martin Scorseseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s The Wolf of Wall Street, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio in the biographical story of a drugsnorting Wall Street scam artist, took the No. 4 spot with $13.4 million. Fifth place went to 1970s crime caper American Hustle.

S T. A L B E R T R E A L E S T A T E M A R K E T R E P O R T GRANDIN

AKINSDALE

OAKMONT Sold Listings: 5

Active Listings: 4

Sold Listings: 7

Active Listings: 11

Sold Listings: 13

Active Listings: 9

Average list price:

Average sale price:

Average list price:

Average sale price:

Average list price:

Average sale price:

Low $299,900 / High $395,000

Low $287,000 / High $390,500 Avg. days on market: 22

Low $309,900 / High $458,500

Low $310,000 / High $493,000 Avg. days on market: 47

Low $389,000 / High $1,395,000

Low $385,000 / High $1,935,018 Avg. days on market: 64

$341,175

$330,371

$373,422

$375,730

HERITAGE LAKES

BRAESIDE Active Listings: 5

Sold Listings: 10

Active Listings: 5

Sold Listings: 13

Average list price:

Average sale price:

Average list price:

Average sale price:

Low $419,000 / High $689,000

Low $358,000 / High $490,000 Avg. days on market: 63

$564,940

$354,150

Low $289,900 / High $1,149,000

Low $282,000/ High $535,000 Avg. days on market: 59

$493,460

Active Listings: 7

Sold Listings: 10

Average list price:

Average sale price:

Low $327,500/ High $485,900

Low $313,649 / High $458,500 Avg. days on market: 38

$392,600

Active Listings: 12

$391,964

Sold Listings: 5

Average list price:

Average sale price:

Low $549,500 / High $2,499,000

Low $484,000 / High $1,900,000 Avg. days on market: 97

$1,032,999

$851,400

LACOMBE PARK

$399,000

ST. ALBERT        

 ÂŽ

780.995.0555 780 9 5 0555 (direct) 99 780.458.8300 www.samelais.ca

72 DARTMOUTH CRESCENT 1200 sq.ft. Bungalow, 2+1 Beds, Corner Lot.

ERIN RIDGE

Active Listings: 5

Sold Listings: 5

Average list price:

Average sale price:

Low $349,900 / High $649,900

Low $340,000 / High $573,000 Avg. days on market: 40

$486,600

$444,880

STURGEON HEIGHTS Sold Listings: 6 Average sale price:

Low $669,000 / High $669,000

Low $307,500 / High $365,000 Avg. days on market: 20

$644,543

$449,361

Low $260,000 / High $1,100,000 Low $334,900 / High $1,198,800 Avg. days on market: 33

MISSION Average sale price:

Low $409,900/ High $929,900

Low $382,500/ High $770,000 Avg. days on market: 47

Low $349,900 / High $529,500

Low $260,000 / High $368,500 Avg. days on market: 22

$401,840

Sold Listings: 6 $326,750

NORTH RIDGE

Active Listings: 2

Sold Listings: 7

Active Listings: 15

Sold Listings: 9

Average list price:

Average sale price:

Average list price:

Average sale price:

Low $342,000 / High $435,000 Avg. days on market: 33

Low $374,900 / High $1,095,000

Low $345,000 / High $630,000 Avg. days on market: 55

Low $329,000 / High $345,000

PINEVIEW

*120 Days Back

Average list price:

Average list price:

$379,200

780.995.0555 780 9 5 0555 (direct) 99 780.458.8300 www.samelais.ca

16 OAKLAND WAY 1370 sq.ft. Bilevel, 3 Beds, 2.5 Baths.

Active Listings: 1

Active Listings: 5

$337,000

$576,786

$499,111

$669,000

$331,166

WOODLANDS Active Listings: 5 Average list price:

$430,160

Low $394,500 / High $468,900

Sold Listings: 5

Average sale price:

$416,600

Low $355,000 / High $533,000 Avg. days on market: 92

Did you know?? There are more than 70 clubs and organizations representing varied interests in St. Albert

*The above area market averages represent the trailing 3-month averages, except where otherwise indicated, of single-family homes only as of the Friday prior to publication week. Data is provided by CRAIG PILGRIM of RE/MAX Real Estate (St. Albert), member of the Real Estate Association of Edmonton. Data does not include condos, townhomes or apartments, and does not differentiate between styles of homes. All efforts are made to ensure data is accurate for information purposes, but please consult a licensed real estate agent for additional market information.*Did you know source: City of St. Albert website, St. Albert 2012 Census AD{CS5080139}

 ÂŽ

Sold Listings: 18

Average sale price:

*180 Days Back

       

Average sale price:

Sold Listings: 20

FOREST LAWN

ST. ALBERT

Average list price:

Average list price:

$518,275

$389,000

Active Listings: 16

Active Listings: 23 $634,420

$835,903

$418,484

KINGSWOOD

DEER RIDGE

$813,744


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ACCELERATED SALES EVENT

THE ACURA MDX 2014 AJAC Award Winner for Best New SUV (over $60,000).

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Selling price is $52,111 on a new 2014 Acura MDX (Model YD4H2EJN). Selling price includes $1,995 freight and PDI, excise tax ($100), new tire surcharge ($20) and AMVIC fee ($6.25). License, insurance, registration and taxes (including GST) are extra. *Limited time lease oďŹ&#x20AC;er based on a new 2014 Acura MDX (Model YD4H2EJN) available through Acura Financial Services, on approved credit. Representative lease example: 1.9% lease rate for 36 months. Bi-weekly payment is $328 (includes $1,995 freight and PDI) with $0 down payment. 20,000 km allowance/year; charge of $0.15/km for excess kilometres. Total lease obligation is $25,584. OďŹ&#x20AC;er includes excise tax ($100), new tire surcharge ($20), AMVIC fee ($6.25) and PPSA ($11). License, insurance, registration, options and applicable fees, duties and taxes are extra (including GST). Some terms/conditions apply. Model shown for illustration purposes only. OďŹ&#x20AC;ers end January 31, 2014, are AMVIC LICENSEE subject to change or cancellation without notice and are only valid for Alberta residents at Alberta Acura retailers. Dealer may sell/lease for less. Dealer order/trade may be necessary. While quantities last. See West Side Acura for full details. AD{CS5080064}


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Soaring sales of million-dollar â&#x20AC;&#x153;dream homesâ&#x20AC;? in Edmonton were among several trends that led an eight per cent increase in property sales in 2013, say local realtors. The Realtors Association of Edmonton (RAE) is reporting 17,055 residential sales last year compared to just 15,812 in 2012. There were 115 properties sold in the million-dollarplus price range, an increase of 29 per cent. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an all-time record,â&#x20AC;? said RAE president Greg Steele, adding the number dwarfs the 2012 record of 87 properties sold for over $1 million. The highest-priced single family home sold for $3.4 million while the highest-priced condo sold for $1.6 million. Generally, expensive homes sold 8.7 per cent below the list price but competition saw 14 properties purchased above the list price. The RAE said two vacant lots located in Donsdale and the Hamptons were sold for $2.5 and $1.45 million, each touting â&#x20AC;&#x153;limitless development opportunitiesâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;majestic river viewsâ&#x20AC;?. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s location, location, location,â&#x20AC;? said Steele, quoting the popular realty adage. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the views that matter the most. People will pay a tremendous premium just to have something nobody else has.â&#x20AC;?

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The high sales were driven by a strong labour market, continuing low mortgage rates, and a stable pricing environment, said Steele, adding thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no evidence that a housing bubble is affecting Alberta. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been slow and steady,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With high incomes, low interest rates and good selection of homes, we have a fantastic market... The market has rebounded nicely since 2007.â&#x20AC;? First-time buyers migrated towards condos, said Steele, as people are moving from the suburbs back into

the downtown core. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The arena development is going to benefit that tremendously,â&#x20AC;? he said. Steele said the city will be a sellerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s market for a short period of time as 2013 closed with 3,049 listings, the lowest number in almost five years. Listings are expected to pick up now that the â&#x20AC;&#x153;hectic holiday season is behind us,â&#x20AC;? he said. The RAE gave its projections for 2014 on Wednesday during a housing forecast seminar at the Northlands Expo Centre.

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Alberta Premier Alison Redford will â&#x20AC;&#x153;unlock huge opportunityâ&#x20AC;? in India next month during a $120,000 trade mission that ends with a quick stop in Switzerland to talk economics. The provincial government wants to explore â&#x20AC;&#x153;areas of deeper co-operationâ&#x20AC;? with India during the two-week mission, particularly in its heavy oil and agriculture sectors. Opening new markets is â&#x20AC;&#x153;job oneâ&#x20AC;? for the government, she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We will continue to aggressively sell Alberta to the world and this mission is a

valuable opportunity to do just that,â&#x20AC;? said Redford, who will begin the long journey to New Delhi on Jan. 9. Human Services Minister Manmeet Bhullar and Associate Minister Naresh Bhardwaj will also accompany the premier, who will officially open the Alberta India trade office during the 15day mission from Jan. 9 to Jan. 24. During the mission, Redford will sign agricultural memorandums of understanding with the Punjab and Meghalaya governments as well as tour the Sikh sacred temple Harmandir Sahib, commonly called The Golden Temple. In Mumbai, Redford will

speak at a business reception hosted by Natural Resources Canada and the Confederation of Indian Industry. She will also receive a tour of information technology giant Wiproâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s global headquarters in Bangalore on Jan. 17. The trip will conclude with

a three-day stop in Davos, Switzerland, where Redford will participate in a panel during the World Economic Forum from Jan. 21 to 23 before returning to Alberta on Jan. 24. The trip is estimated to cost $120,200 including travel, accommodation and meals.

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Call us today for all your St. Albert Real Estate Needs

LORENE LECAVALIER

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780-990-6266 Direct 780-460-8558

Pierre Hebert

780-459-7786 www.bermontrealty.com

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Have you ever Googled yourself? What about your business? It’s something most of us have probably done. But the question is, were you happy with the results? In the digital age, your online presence must be carefully crafted. Whether you’re a company looking for top search result rankings or a savvy professional looking to maintain your image, an online presence can be make-it-or-break-it these days. Search engine optimization, or SEO, isn’t a new concept, but it’s one that is rapidly growing and changing the way that we do business online. While you may think it’s enough for your business to have a flashy website, it won’t do much to boost sales if no one can find it. That’s where SEO comes in. SEO refers to the process of affecting a website’s visibility and ranking in online search results. And considering that 93 per cent of internet traffic comes from a search engine, it’s a pretty big deal. So one of the first questions you may be asking is, how do I use SEO to make my website No. 1 in a Google search result? Well, SEO is simple, but not quite that simple.

If a potential customer is searching for “vacuums in St. Albert,” you won’t become the first result by repeating the words “vacuums in St. Albert” on your website over and over. In fact, search engines have become so sophisticated that they’ll recognize the quality of your content over the repetitiveness of your targeted text. Well-written, informative content will win every time. Better yet, great content will keep a customer on your page once they’ve found it. Don’t just focus on your front page, though. Before a customer clicks on your website, they’ll see your site title and something called a meta description. This description is usually 150160 characters, and should feature a clear, concise description of your company and services. A sharp meta description gives your customer a sense of what to expect on your website, and will encourage them to click through. With the addition of content marketing and social media, SEO is a seemingly endless topic, but it all comes down to skillful content writing to ensure that your customers find you online. Brittany Kustra is the Communications Coordinator for the Northern Alberta Business Incubator Society.

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Understanding the family finances from a “big picture” standpoint can be a very daunting and intimidating exercise to tackle. It seems that as we hurdle through life’s challenges, it is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day activities and roll from one bill to the next without giving much thought to an end goal. At some point, we are going to need to rely on any savings we have accumulated and if we look back later in life to find there has not been enough attention paid to stashing money away for our eventual retirement, time can be our worst enemy. Playing catchup in the savings department can be a demoralizing endeavour as we reach our golden years. With the beginning of a new year, the bills start to roll in, giving a final tally of the Christmas spending, and all eyes turn to the next big target — the RRSP contribution deadline. If your New Year’s resolution was to become more active in your

family’s finances, a great place to start would be with your Registered Retirement Savings Plan. The deadline for your final RRSP contribution for the 2013 tax year is March 3, and over the next few months, we will shed more light on this savings vehicle as we count down to the RRSP deadline. The RRSP was introduced by the Canadian government back in 1957 as a response to the impact of the baby boomers. This massive demographic has had a tremendous effect on so many things cultural and economic over the last six decades and our government was very well aware that the boomers could have a devastating effect on our retirement system when they started to retire en mass in their 60s. The pressure on our retirement pension system could be extreme without Canadians planning and saving additional dollars for their own retirement. With the pension system in place at that time, our government essentially said we’re not going to be able to take care of you, so

YOU take care of you. And they introduced the RRSP, which is one of the most generous forms of tax relief available to Canadians. And yet so few people take advantage of all this program has to offer. According to StatsCan, less than one in three eligible Canadian tax-filers contribute to an RRSP. This is a problem as the RRSP has so much to offer from a tax savings point of view. With the introduction of the Tax Free Savings Account, we now have another option for saving money for retirement, but most Canadian taxpayers should invest in RRSPs, particularly if they anticipate that their marginal tax rate will be lower in retirement than in their working years. Starting early with an RRSP is one of the best decisions you can make. Save as much as you can as fast as you can (comfortably) and the rest of your financial life will fall into place. Doug Riding BA, CFP, FMA, is a senior investment adviser with IPC Securities Corporation. www.ridingteam.ca

Have you ever thought of being a Professional Sales Associate for Westend Nissan? Or... • Professional House Cleaners - Bless this Mess • Sales Associate - Northside Mitsubishi • Talk a Walk... and Get Paid! - St. Albert Leader City of St. Albert: Recreation Leader 3 - Preschool Learn to Skate Instructors • Recreation Leader 2 - Gym Court Supervisor • Operations Coordinator (Recreation Infrastructure Branch) AD{CS5080110}

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St. Albert Leader Jan 9, 2014